“I get really nervous right before I have to perform,” confesses Dylan Tedaldi. If you’re incredulous that this Boston Ballet School stud could ever feel anxious, you aren’t alone. When he stepped onstage at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland earlier this year, he exuded a calm confidence that belied any jitters he may have had.
Since his success at the Prix, everyone has been talking about Dylan. In fact, he and Kyle Davis (from the North Carolina School of the Arts) were the only Americans among the seven scholarship winners. A technically clean dancer, Dylan can stick a double tour in a perfect fifth position and covers space with speed and ease. At the Prix, he particularly excelled in his contemporary solo by John Neumeier. He executed the angular choreography with precision, crab-crawling on the floor with insect-like agility, then springing into the air as if he weighed nothing at all. It isn’t surprising that he’d like to join a company with an extensive contemporary repertory one day.
Dylan began dancing in first grade, studying jazz, tumbling and hip hop at a small studio in his native Boston. When he turned 9, his teacher encouraged him to audition for BBS and he’s been there ever since, punctuated by summers at School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School. While ballet has always been the focus, Dylan also makes time for other interests. He’s active in his high school’s musical theater program, sings in an a cappella group, and runs his own T-shirt company (theugly-club.com).
But next month, Dylan will leave his busy Boston life behind. At the personal invitation of Neumeier, Hamburg Ballet’s artistic director, Dylan will spend his senior year at HB’s two-year trainee program, which is designed to prepare dancers for professional company life. “It was a tough decision to make, to leave my school senior year and my family,” says Dylan, adding that he’s been trying to learn German prior to his departure. In the program, Dylan will get to perform with the company as well as take choreography classes, which he’s particularly interested in. “It’s tough for me to be so far away, but it was such an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t say no.”
- Guilty pleasure: “Melted peanut butter over vanilla ice cream with cinnamon on top”
- On his iPod: Marxy, Ben Folds, Feist
- Hobbies: Writing, drawing, baking
- Early riser or night owl: “Night owl”
- Big-screen debut: Dylan, along with others from Boston Ballet School, appeared in The Game Plan with Dwayne Johnson (AKA “The Rock”).
- Favorite ballet: Minus One by Ohad Naharin
- Record number of pirouettes: Seven
- Choreographers he’d most like to work with: Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe
- Center Stage or The Company? “Both”
- Currently reading: Frankenstein (for school)
- Favorite book: Magical Monarch of Mo by L. Frank Baum: “I read it when I was 4, but it’s still my favorite. My dad read it to me every night.”
- Favorite movies: Kill Bill and a short Disney movie called Ferdinand the Bull
- People describe him as: “Quirky, weird, funny, really awesome”
Photo: Jean-Bernard Sieber